Our branch has a long history of supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) projects, as in the 1980s we were one of the first branches in the nation to organize a local Expanding Your Horizons Math-Science Conference for girls. We were among the first branches to send a camper to the Tech Trek camp for girls when it began in 1998 as a project of AAUW of California, and have sent campers annually each year.
EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS
Today the local Tri-Valley conference is organized by staff at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia Laboratories. It serves girls in grades 6 – 9, and is held each year in February or March. AAUW-LPD provides support staff for the event each year; Contact Dot for more information on volunteering for this fun event.
A project which gets active branch support is Tech Trek, a science & math camp for girls entering the 8th grade, that was begun by AAUW-CA. One-week camps are held at various colleges and universities in California. Since the project began in 1998, we have sent local girls to the event. This year, we sponsored nine middle school girls to attend Camp Curie 2017 at Stanford the week of July 9 – 15, 2017.
Tech Trek is an sponsorship-based, STEM-focused camp designed to develop girls’ interest and excitement in science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as to increase their self-confidence. It features hands-on activities & field trips in math, science, and related fields. Instructors and guest speakers are local STEM professionals, from companies such as Pixar and VMWare. Campers have the opportunity to meet and learn from many successful women in STEM careers.
We have an active Tech Trek committee which distributes information about Tech Trek to local public middle schools to solicit nominees, conducts interviews and selects campers. Pre-camp orientation, as well as post-camp presentations and follow-up activities, allow Branch members to meet the girl attendees & hear about their experiences. In addition, Branch members are encouraged to volunteer at camp. A variety of opportunities exist, with commitments that range from a few hours to spending the week as a Dorm Mom. For more information on volunteer opportunities at a future camp, contact LPDTechTrek@gmail.com.
LPD’s nine 2017 Tech Trekkers are now back from a fabulous week on the Stanford Campus. Camp Curie once again offered our girls an eye-opening week of hands-on math and science. The girls enjoyed living in a dorm on campus, where they were well-looked after by their dorm moms, and spent each morning attending their core class. These included Marine Biology, Forensic Science, Engineering Design, Computer Coding, and Cyber Security. Afternoons and evenings were spent exploring other areas, such as Artificial Intelligence, Astronomy, and Nanotechnology, going on field trips, and attending a Professional Women’s Night where they met women working in a variety of inspiring STEM careers.
Come to our September “Welcome Back” event to meet our girls and hear more about their week at Tech Trek!
Our Branch members enjoyed an active role in the 2017 camp. Karen Cowan & Charlene Grandfield worked Registration, greeting the girls and their parents as they arrived on Sunday. Tech Trek Branch Coordinator Wendy Ping had great fun spending the entire week at Tech Trek as a “Dorm Mom”. Anita Massey & Carol Kinnard helped with an afternoon activity, “Mad City Money”. This was a new program in which the girls were “launched into their future”: given a career & a “family situation”, along with perhaps some student loan or credit card debt, each girl had to “purchase” all the things necessary to live, while trying to stay within her budget. It was a lot of fun, and the girl learned SO much!
We continue to be so impressed with the dedication and flawless organization that Camp Co-Directors Pat Ivester & Kea Jolicoeur and their team bring to Camp Curie. Other than the 5 Core Class teachers (all credentialed middle school teachers, who receive a small stipend), the entire Camp Curie staff – including the directors – are volunteers. Your donations truly go directly to fund the girls’ experience at Tech Trek!
All donations to Tech Trek are tax-deductible, and 100% of all donations go to funding local girl sponsorships. Local donations are the sole source of funding for these sponsorships, and thus determine the number of girls that AAUW – Livermore-Pleasanton-Dublin is able to send each year.
Every contribution makes a difference!
- $25/$50 Pays for a field trip for one camper
- $150 Provides for one full day at camp
- $474 Covers half of a sponsorship
- $950 Awards a full sponsorship
- $2850 Funds three sponsorships
Donations are welcome year-round from anyone–members and non-members alike!
Donations can be made by check, payable to AAUW, with “LPD Tech Trek – Stanford Curie” on the memo line and may be sent to: AAUW-LPD Tech Trek, P. O. Box 661, Livermore, CA 94551.
To donate online, go to http://www.aauw-techtrek.org/ , and click on “Donate to Tech Trek”., and follow the links. Very important: be sure to select the correct fund from the drop down menu on the donation form: “Tech Trek California – Stanford Curie”, to ensure your donation goes to LPD girls. For more information, contact Wendy Ping, AAUW-LPD Tech Trek Coordinator.
LLNL employees and retirees can also donate to AAUW-LPD Tech Trek through the Home Campaign, which supports local non-profits. Members are especially encouraged to support Tech Trek annually during the dues renewal period, but donations are welcome year-round, from anyone.
2017’s Tech Trek included a lot of activities such as building a flashlight, dissecting squid, and getting creative at the “Build It Night.”